Betsy Whitt

I read. I write. I think. I live.

Category: Random (page 2 of 8)

Epic Salad Win

Made up a salad tonight to take to dinner at our friends’ house:

baby spinach
thin-cut apple slices
dried cranberries
toasted walnuts
crumbled extra-sharp cheddar cheese
poppyseed and caramelized onion dressing



Today’s Vocabulary Word

My circle of friends has established a word that I feel is ready to be released to the general public.

snorfle – noun – the noise made when laughter is muffled, produced by the same function that shoots liquid out your nose, sans liquid.

Nice, isn’t it? I’m particularly fond.



My brain doesn’t want to work.

I say, “Brain, how about working now so I can keep moving on this manuscript that’s been languishing in disrepair since February?”And my brain says, “:-P”. And makes a rude noise at me.

Figuratively speaking, of course.

Work has been irregular in pretty much every sense of the word, and is likely to continue that way for some time to come. It’s a little unsettling, but I’m managing. I’ve read a lot this week.

There’s a little boy banging his chair repeatedly on the patio a few feet away from me and I am so tempted to say something to his dad, who is ignoring him to talk on the phone.

In good news, Matt’s employers are upping his paid hours so that he’s eligible for medical insurance through them. So that will save us quite a bit of money on insurance and bring in more in paychecks. Good all around.

And I bought a bird feeder thingy to hang out on our porch so the birds will come. Shiloh likes watching the birds. We’ll see if it works. We’ve been neglecting her a bit. Not a lot, just a bit, but she’s playing it up like a star actress. Melodrama Dog.

That’s about all from this quarter. Maybe I’ll be witty tomorrow….


Favorite Colors

When I was little, my favorite color was pink.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking it’s very cute that Betsy was a typical little girl who liked pink girly things. You’re not seeing the sinister angle. The other side.

See, I went a little bit overboard on the pink. If it came in pink, I wanted it in pink. I had pink jeans, not blue jeans. I had pink tires for my bicycle. I played with Barbies not because I particularly liked them, but because everything came in pink. When we moved across town and into a new house, I got to pick the carpet that would go in my room–without a second’s hesitation, I picked the pinkest carpet I could find in the store. And then I tried to convince my parents to paint the walls pink, too. They stopped me at a pink border around the top of the wall, but for years I was still happy because the white walls of my bedroom looked pinkish because they reflected all the other pink in the room. I had pink curtains, pink sheets, a pink bedspread, pink stuffed animals. . . . it was amazing. I’ll have to find a photo and scan it so you can get even the beginning of an idea of what it looked like.

It was great until I entered my teenage years. Then I revolted against pink, though I couldn’t do much about the carpet. I never, ever wore pink clothes. I changed the curtains and everything else, and tried to pretend my pink phase had never existed. Halfway through high school, I convinced my parents to let me take down that awful pink border and paint the walls and get new carpet (which they probably only agreed to since they knew I’d be moving out and they’d be buying new carpet for the room anyway, since no sane empty nesters have one pink room).

It wasn’t until I was out of college for two years that I voluntarily bought anything pink again, and that was half because I found the perfect laptop bag for 75% off its normal price simply because it was pink. So I’ve been easing myself back into a judicious use of pink for the last three years or so, and I think it’s going pretty well.

But the funny thing? Even back when my favorite color was pink and everything I owned was pink, my favorite favorite color was orange.


Because I liked orange popsicles best.

Ah, the complexities of childhood.


Park Space Love

Have I ranted here on the blog about the silly people who park in our spot? About the people who park right beside our spot in the stripey bit of the handicapped spot beside ours, as if that were a real spot?

I think I have.

Just to give you a little taste of the kind of thing that happens all the time around here, Matt just pulled the car up so we can load bags for our vacation…

Really? Did the lawnmower dude NEED to put his tarp of grass RIGHT THERE?

It has become amusing to me. Maybe I can set up an electric shocker fence for anyone who crosses into our parking space. That would do it, right? Right?


Written From The Air, May 14

I haven’t felt much like blogging lately. There are times when I’m doing interesting things, or funny things happen to me, and I have a lot of fun relating them to whomever happens to stop by to pay attention to my little corner of the world, or at least what I tell of it here.

There are also times when not much out of the ordinary is happening, or when I’m not in the right mindset to spin ordinary things as funny or interesting. Sometimes that’s because I’m just not feelin’ it (and with depression, it’s hard to tell when one of those days will come) and sometimes it’s because I’m just plain busy with mundane things like work and running errands and doing laundry and flying across the country to help with a family tragedy. Incidentally, that last is the main reason for the last week’s worth of silence.

Also, I’m not really that funny of a person. And there are only so many funny things that can happen to a person in a given amount of time. I don’t know if that resets every few months or what, but sometimes it seems like I use up my funny quota and I have to wait until the program resets before I can have more. Because really, there are only so many jokes one can make about laundry before it gets really, really old. At least, there are only so many in a household of two adults plus a dog. I would imagine that adding one or more children to the mix would add a commensurate level of adventure to which stains might be found, how they were acquired, and various descriptions of attempts to clean them. But really, people, I live a pretty quiet life. I suppose (until I use up my quota) I have a knack for giving stories a humorous spin, but that’s really all it is–spin.

Holey shamoley, I just about had a heart attack. You see, I’m on the plane flying from Syracuse to Chicago (O’Hare, thanks for asking) and although I have a novel, I’m not particularly interested in starting it right now. Although I have manuscript pages printed and ready for editing, my brain just isn’t settled enough to concentrate. I tried working my quick crossword puzzles (I like the quick ones–they make me feel smart) but lost interest more or less as soon as the plane left the ground. And I have my AlphaSmart, because I entertained pipe dreams of lots of lovely time to get work done and maybe even write a scene or two, but again, my brain is not cooperating. So I’m writing a blog entry which I will post when we get home, either tonight or tomorrow morning, depending on where I stashed the cable I need to transfer things from here to there. Anyway, the near-miss on the heart attack was the captain coming on the super duper loud speakers to say something or other, which of course I didn’t pay attention to because even though it was muffled by my headphones, he scared the cheese out of me and I had to stuff it all back in before the flight attendants noticed the mess.

If they’re both women, can I call them stewardesses? Or is that universally politically incorrect now? Do I need to use a gender non-specific term when they are the same gender? These are the things I ponder as we fly over Lake Erie. Look! There’s Canada!

And now I think it would be best if I stopped, or else you’ll all just get a running commentary of the terrain between Erie, PA and Chicago. And everybody knows northern Ohio isn’t very interesting. Also, don’t tell the people who live there, but it smells funky. Seriously. I’ve driven through there tons of times, and it’s almost as bad as North Jersey. Don’t tell the north Jersey people, either. It’ll be our little secret. Me, you, the fence post, and the rest of the internet. Yeah.

See? I should have stopped typing at least a paragraph ago. Why didn’t you stop me? Why?? WHY???


How To Embarrass High Schoolers

So I went to my coffee shop yesterday. I’m a regular there, and friends with most of the employees (shout out to all my peeps at Solid Grounds).

And there was a pair of teenagers, probably freshmen or sophomores, who were in the back booth “studying”. And by studying, I mean licking one another’s vocal cords. I suppose I should say it’s a big booth. It easily seats six people, eight if you’re friendly.

By the time I got there they were actually doing something or other with graphing calculators and geometry or trig, though naturally they were sitting practically on top of one another, because you can’t actually do homework without touching your boyfriend with two limbs and half your torso. But at least they weren’t making out any more.

But Mike and Angela had been forced to endure them for several hours.

So Mike offered me $10 if I’d just go over and ask if I could join them at the table, then sit down and start typing–with a straight face. Also, if they asked why, I had to say, “Well there aren’t that many tables open.” (There were tons of tables.)

And then Angela threw in a free drink to sweeten the deal. How could I say no?

So I waited at the little “get your drink here” counter while Angela made me a caramel apple cider, and when I got the drink I just turned around and said, “Do you guys mind if I sit here?” And I put my drink on the table and set down my bag before they even took a breath.

They said, “Uhhh… okay. We’re going to be leaving soon anyway.”

At which point a normal person would, you know, find another table and wait for them to leave.

Not me!

I just said, “Oh, that’s great! Thanks!” And I sat down and pulled out my AlphaSmart and started typing, trying not to look at them because if I did I would have busted up laughing and lost my $10.

I was typing things like, “I can’t do this out loud but I really need to laugh so I’m laughing in type HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”

But according to eyewitnesses (there were three who were avidly watching) the kids were giving me very strange looks, because by then there was the “oooh, awkward…” vibe, and they’d looked around and seen that there were TONS of tables open. And there I was, typing away as if this was perfectly normal.

They left less than 3 minutes later, and we all barely lasted until the door closed behind them before we busted up laughing.

Good times, good times.

Maybe not as fun as the duck joke, but definitely very satisfying. It’s great fun to be the strange person that no one knows how to deal with. :-D


And You Thought I Was Dead

I’m alive. I did drop off the face of the earth for a while, or at least the blog. I have found several great YouTube videos and read several books this week, but nothing of great consequence has happened.

I wrote some more new material for the manuscript, but not as much as I had hoped. Several people who read the full thesis version said they really liked it. One said, and I quote, “It was awesome.” That made me smile, especially since the person in question is an avid fantasy reader.

I am in the midst of watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice for the second time in four days. I don’t feel like I’ve gotten a ton done lately, but I suppose it’s been enough to get by.

I did spend a considerable amount of time designing a gryphon for my world–I quite like it, and I think other people will too.

I apologize for the disjointed rambling and also for having begun 75% of this post’s sentences and 100% of its paragraphs with “I”. Please forgive me.


Home Again, Home Again

I don’t have a lot to say, except that it’s good to be home and I’ve got quite a bit of catching up to do now that I’m back. I intend to accomplish a good deal of that here with my laptop (retrieved from the Apple folks once again and, thus far, fully functional) on the couch watching movies with Matt.

We’re having corned beef and cabbage for dinner, only four days after St. Patrick’s Day, but I was gone then.

Oh, and this is funny:


Friday Friday

Things are looking up this morning, oddly enough. Aside from the fact that in the half-sleeping stage between when Matt’s alarm went off and when mine went off, I kept thinking today was Sunday, it’s gone darn well. It’s $1 breakfast burrito day at our favorite coffee shop, so we went out for breakfast. Crazy! We spent $4 total – 2 burritos and 2 cups of coffee.

I need to pay the bills this afternoon when I get home, but the library book sale is over, which means anything that’s still there is free. I’ll go over and look at the potential loot in a bit. And then I’ll be taking Dr. Grounds for a haircut and then home. I’ve got some non-manuscript writing that needs to get done, and I’ve decided that since we’re giving up TV for Lent, and since that’s a much bigger sacrifice for Matt than it is for me, I’m going to seriously cut back on my leisure reading so that we can spend more time doing things together.

This makes it especially ironic that I might have gone overboard a little bit at the library yesterday. You might ask, “How do you go overboard at the library?” And rightly so. It’s hard to go overboard when things are free, wouldn’t you say? But I came home with six big hardback fantasy epics and four paperbacks. . . and I already have about 30 books on my “to read soon” shelf, and that’s not counting the three or four that have come out recently but I haven’t gotten my hands on. It also doesn’t count the stack of four or five nonfiction books that I keep telling myself I’ll read, because darn it I need more nonfiction in my reading diet.

I think it’s also time that I admitted that my stack of books I got part of the way through and meant to come back to just aren’t going to grab my attention again and need to be either returned to their respective owners or replaced on my general fiction shelves. I’ll try them again sooner or later, probably, but for now I’ve lost interest.

And I’m thinking that even though I said I wasn’t going to keep track of the books I’ve read any more, I like doing that more than I realized, so I’ll keep it up in some form or another.

And just in case you have a baby who’s not earning its keep around the house, here’s today’s must-have item:

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